■ How dollar scarcity turned to blessing for overseas-based Nigerian students –Omonubi
By Jet Stanley Madu
The UK Boarding School Education Fair is an annual convergence of UK, Canada and United States of America (USA) education primary and post primary education providers. In this year’s edition, the seventh, organizers of the exhibition sought to get parents and students to interface with boarding school providers and to give them information about their schools. “It’s a one-on-one thing for parents and their kids to meet with these people”, stated the anchorperson, Mrs. Rose Omonubi.
Some of the schools and colleges who were on the stand to showcase what makes their institutions grand include EF Academy, Queen Ethelburga’s College, Cardiff Sixth Form College, Middleton College, Brook Hayes College, Adcote School for Girls, Bellerbys College, Bedstone College, and Ludington School. St. Johnsbury Academy was from the USA while the Great Lakes College and Albert College were from Canada.
The youngsters sure have their reasons for desiring to hop out of Nigeria. Their parents also have reasons they want their children to school overseas. A parent who identified herself as Mrs. Osho disclosed that her daughter is Irish by birth. By virtue of her birth, she wants her to return to Ireland so she could leverage on the virtue of her nationality as an Irish to enjoy some benefits which students in Nigeria do not have access to.
Another parent, Mrs. Ogechi Nkwoji said that, “it’s a way of using the opportunity to see what else is out there. We know we’re living in a very global world now. If they go to school abroad say UK, London or elsewhere, they won’t meet only the English there. They’re going to meet people from Hong Kong, China, the US, India etc. So, they get to mix a lot more and eventually come back home and put the experiences down into practice.”
Representing Canada’s oldest boarding school, Albert College, was Tracey Colp. She revealed that Nigerian students in Canada are zealous. “They’re very work-oriented. They want to do well at school. They consider their academics as something that is very important to them and their families. They look on to go to post-secondary education in Canada and achieve great accomplishments through the university”. The Head of English Language Teaching at Brook House College, Mr. Lindsay Webster said the visit to Nigeria availed him opportunity to tour a number of schools to interact with students, parents and education providers. According to him, his familiarity with his Nigerian students in England has made him “relatively familiar with Nigeria and issues relating to Nigeria. As much as he teaches Nigerian students, he said, he learns from them.
Anchorperson of the UK Boarding School Exhibition, Omonubi, the Director, NUBI Educational Counseling Limited, spoke on how the prevailing high exchange rate has affected the quest for overseas scholarship. According to her, it is somewhat a blessing in disguise.
“Some of the schools are giving some discounts to the students. Some are even giving full scholarships. Some are giving 50 percent rebate, depending on what the school is looking out for.”